Long-Term Disability Policies in Michigan
You’re an experienced, capable person in your field. You’ve built a career in teaching, nursing or another health care profession, manufacturing, or any other industry in Michigan.
When you run into health problems that force you off the job, you deserve the dignity that comes with continued income through your long-term disability (LTD) insurance policy.
But too often, insurance companies deny or cut off your benefits.
If this happened to you, it helps to know what kind of policy you have and what it covers.
You might have an employer-sponsored policy governed by the federal ERISA law, or a privately purchased policy.
An attorney from Levine Benjamin Law Firm can help you understand your rights under either one.
Levine Benjamin has been helping people in Toledo, Traverse City and across Michigan and Ohio since 1964.
What would you like to do?
When you can’t work because of health problems, the two types of long-term disability insurance give you different options.
Differences between Long-Term Disability Policies
Just like with car or home insurance, every long-term disability policy covers different things at different levels.
The two main types of LTD are policies you get through your employer, which usually have to comply with the ERISA law (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) and private, individual plans.
Here are some major differences:
- The premiums you pay are less expensive than private plans in general.
- The benefits you receive might be less generous than private plans, with payments usually between 50% and 75% of your salary.
- You may face tougher rules for proving your disability, such as having to show you couldn’t perform any job, not just your own job.
- The premiums you pay will likely be higher than ERISA plans.
- The payments you receive will also likely be higher than employer plans.
- You might only need to show that you can’t perform your current job—not all kinds of jobs.
Getting denied long-term disability insurance benefits is discouraging, but appealing can change the result.
What to Do When You’re Denied LTD Benefits
Anything from missing medical records to a misunderstanding about the severity of a disability can result in an LTD denial.
Sometimes insurance companies are more interested in finding ways to save themselves money than they are in helping you. They might go as far as conducting surveillance looking for reasons to reject you.
Your insurer might say their definition of “disability” has changed after a certain period of time. They could say you’re not getting the right treatment. They could cut off your checks because you haven’t filed for Social Security benefits.
In many cases, this doesn’t have to be the final answer.
You’re entitled to appeal any decision by an LTD insurer. And an appeal can change the result.
After receiving notification of a denial or termination, read the letter carefully. Under new regulations in 2018, insurers must provide a detailed explanation of their decision.
It’s risky for you to talk to your insurance company at this point. They’ll often try to make you think you don’t deserve more.
They might tell you to simply write a letter explaining why you shouldn’t be denied, but that’s not good enough.
Get an LTD attorney to deal with them.
At Levine Benjamin, our long-term disability attorneys can tell you your options. We evaluate your case for free and don’t charge a fee until you win.
In many cases, we can get you compensation for lost time, medical care and prescriptions you were forced to buy after a wrongful denial.
Without LTD payments, your health problems could threaten the lifestyle that you worked hard to achieve. You deserve better.